So, after much consideration, I’ve chosen a next gen console from which to play assorted future installments of Assassins Creed and Batman Arkham video games. The winner is:
Yeah, I’m pretty much surprised, too. Last summer, the Xbox One was on my shit list. Let’s recall all the absurd features touted when the console was revealed:
- A mandatory Kinect add-on that was always on. Watching you when you sleep.
- A mandatory always-on internet connection so the machine could phone home once a day. Without this, the console would lock up.
- A new game sharing scheme that made your disc a useless hunk of plastic.
- A $500 price tag.
Oh, what a difference a year makes. As pre-order data rolled in, it became clear people were siding with Sony’s simpler and less expensive Playstation 4. I was nearly one of those people until the launch title I was interested in, Watch Dogs, was delayed six months. Without that game, the PS4 would’ve been useless for a year until the next Assassins Creed game rolled in. I cancelled my pre-order and waited.
As the console war settled, it seemed the two were pretty much equal for the most part. Once Microsoft stripped away the more draconian “features” and made the unit available without the Kinect for $399, it became a more viable option. Then, something changed over this past weekend as I traded in some old games and took the store credit for use on my eventual console purchase: Microsoft was offering a free game with any new XBox One bought this week, including the new game Destiny. I considered my options and decided it was finally time to give Microsoft the preferred spot in gaming again. Besides the free game, there were a few other things that swung me toward the XBox:
1. The Controller. I’m not fond of the Playstation controller. It’s sort of flimsy and lacks the solid feel of the XBox triggers. Skipping a couple of cycles from the 64 bit era to 2006, I didn’t really get back into console games until the final XBox controller was released and made available to me as part of the Scarface: The World is Your testing team at the now defunct Vivendi Games. I liked the feel of it and it led to my eventual interest in an XBox 360.
2 XBox Live. To be quite honest, Live is a pretty good network and worth the yearly fee, though I always collect up some spare change to bring the price down a little. I missed the years of serious instability, so downtime is fairly rare in my experience and unlike Sony’s Playstation Plus network, it’s fairly secure.
3. The era of exclusives is at an end. Sony has maybe one or two exclusive titles I really don’t have much interest in. Microsoft has Sunset Overdrive, but I haven’t really looked into it and don’t know if I want to play it. With game exclusivity amounting to little more than special sections or downloadable weapons, the distinctions became little more than a slight hardware edge on Sony’s side and I doubt I’d be able to notice the difference.
4. I already have a Live Gold subscription. This last one is specific to Destiny. The game was unappealing as a PS4 title because I didn’t want to double dip subscriptions to play it. I’m already in Microsoft’s ecosystem, so the game became all the more appealing.
And really, I think that really tipped it over the edge toward XBox One. Offering Destiny for free with the purchase of the console meant no additional outlay of funds to get a game. it also helps that this is the first game released so far that I had any really interest in playing.
Well, at least until Assassins Creed: Unity gets here.
So, despite thinking I would end up a Playstation user for this generation, I found myself back with XBox and that’s okay. Once they removed all the onerous “advancements,” it’s a pretty solid system — physically and technologically — and Microsoft deserves a pat on the back for walking away from ideas its customer-base loudly (and monetarily) protested.
So here’s to happy gaming in the future on the platform I tend to enjoy!